Lore of Tarkir: Spirit’s Return Part 1

The lore of Magic the Gathering is one that I find to be extremely intriguing. I’ve only sampled bits and pieces of the game’s lore over the last few years, and I’ve always been impressed with the inherent challenges that the writers often overcome to tell stories that engage your mind and hold your interest. For the last several months, I’ve been catching up on the lore for the current block, Khans of Tarkir, which deals with time-travel and mad heroes and epic, godly battles and, of course, dragons. Lots of dragons.

So, here’s kind of my first attempt at telling a story of Tarkir where I draw on all of the stuff that has come out from Wizards of the Coast on an official level and combine it with some of my own theories and things I’d like to see. To be specific, this story is set somewhat concurrent, but is also successive, to the latest release from Wizards, Uncharted Realms: Unbroken and Unbowed, which has Sarkhan Vol reuniting with both Ugin and Narset and the conversations that follow as they all try to understand what has happened to the world that they all love and cherish.

 Dragonlord Dromoka FullDromoka gazed across the mighty city of Arashin and once again she was filled with a strong sense of pride and wonder. She, though lord of her clan and one of a very small handful of the mightiest beings on Tarkir, still basked in the small accomplishments of her long life. Standing tall at the edge of the greatest Aerie of Arashin, with the younger dragons of her brood around her, keeping watch on the city and its inhabitants, the mighty dragonlord had a rare moment of introspection.

She gazed across Arashin and thought back to the days when she had led raids against those who had once dwelt here.

That had been ages ago, in an era when the Great Ugin still flew among his children as an oft-silent guardian. She remembered the era of the Khanfall when the old khans of the various clans fell and the dragonlords rose in their place, dragonlords like her: Ojutai, Silumgar, Atarka, and Kolaghan. It had been a dangerous time for dragonkind all over Tarkir, for the war between dragons and the other Tarkiri races had been at its peak then, and she had lost many of her broodmates, young and old alike. But the dangers had passed and dragonkind had succeeded over the smaller mortals in all the nooks and crannies of Tarkir. Rightly so, the dragons had become the preeminent race, lords over all that their eyes could behold.

Unfortunately, the Great Ugin himself had vanished at the same time, his silent voice heard no more in the skies of Tarkir. Such had been the case for more than a millennia now, and dragonkind had continued to establish its supremacy over the humans and the ainoks and demons and other sundry races of the world. She had wondered if it would ever be worth it to approach the other dragonlords, Ojutai in particular, to find a reason for why the draconic patriarch had vanished, but she had soon squashed such thoughts. The rivalry between the five of them was too great for them to collaborate on any issue. Such had ever been their relationship with each other, for the different broods never acted together for any reason. The Khanfall and the attacks against the Jeskai stronghold when Ojutai himself took control over the ice-dwelling monks had been a rare moment, one that happened more by chance than design.

Images of Daghatar the Adamant, once-Khan of the Abzan but later an Overlord of the Dromoka, came to her. She remembered the sorrow in his heart as he led an army of her brood and his fellow clan warriors against his former allies. That day she had felt no true joy but had done what had to be done. She had felt his self-loathing for what she had commanded him to do, but the work had to be done regardless. Daghatar and his people had violated the laws of nature with their necromantic magics and this was an offense that had to be punished. The ideals of the Dromoka brood demanded as much, for they had been the ideals of her own ancestors, those had basked in the light of the Great Ugin before her, who had charted a glorious history for the brood before she took matters into her own hands.

Dromoka gazed across Arashin and remembered a forgotten history, a history that had been forbidden. Where once humans, ainoks, avens and even orcs had walked tall and proud in the city, a city built on their own accomplishments and hard work and dreams, dragons of her brood now ruled. Arashin, once the heart and soul of an empire of humanoids long forgotten, was now the capital of her empire. It was her home, and her dragons guarded it from all incursions, even so far into her territory for when it came to dragons, no place in Tarkir was safe for long, and constant vigilance was the order of the day.

From her personal perch in the Great Aerie on the northward edge of the city, Dromoka took it all in. Dragons patrolled the skies in heavy numbers while dedicated military aven constantly circled back and forth to carry out their instructions and orders. Uncounted humanoids toiled in the streets, keeping the city running smoothly under the guidance of the Scalelords and the Sovereigns.

Arashin-Sovereign-Promo

So lost was she in her thoughts that she didn’t hear the wingbeats of a Sovereign as one approached her. She lifted her head in acknowledgement at the female, noting the aggressive tilt of her head and the fiery eyes.

“What’s wrong, Selemika?” she asked. Selemika was one of the three Sovereign who governed Arashin in her name, and for her to be disturbing the dragonlord, the situation must be dire.

“Noble Elder, the scouts have marked a raiding party of Kolaghan’s brood near the borders to the south. A flight of Regents and Warkites leading a blood-mad legion of warriors and shamans. They have already destroyed three outposts along the border and are foraying deeper into our territories. Word has come from the Southern Salt Road Outpost that Scalelord Maetrim has fallen in battle, and the forces under his command are scattered all over the Wastes.”

Dromoka took a moment to absorb the information. The raids by those of Kolaghan’s broods were nothing new. Her brood had fended off many such raids in the last millennia. Sometimes they had lost and retreated. Sometimes they had won and advanced further. The exchange of territory was meaningless in the long run, for the chaos of battle demanded as much. But this seemed to be something else. The Kolaghan dragons rarely cooperated for long with each other, and it was unusual for there to be more than a small handful to be involved in any raid. This was clearly a bigger attempt for more mayhem and destruction. The death of a broodmate as old as Maetrim was like a wound deep inside her. He had served her for many centuries, and his counsel had always been insightful and helpful. She would avenge him and those who had fallen alongside him.

She would respond in kind. The Dromoka would go to war again.

She growled at Selemika, baring her teeth emphatically. “Send out the outriders. We will meet the raiders and take back what is ours. Send the Sunscorched ahead with the outriders and assemble the Second Legion outside the city for the ceremony. I will personally see to the Scale Blessing. Now go!”

Selemika nodded and flew off, her voice pitched high to scream out the orders of the dragonlord. The brood mages heard her orders in draconic and then translated for the benefit of the others around them. The various soldiers, whether the Foremost or the Champions, too heard the orders and recognized the intent immediately. Soon the streets of Arashin were busy with the industry of war as the soldiers and mages gathered under their various draconic commands, to be led off by the Scalelords and the Shieldhides.

Dromoka gazed once more across the seat of her power and took it all in. She noted when the Second Legion, the designated defenders of Arashin for the current year, marched out and began to assemble for war in the open plains, waiting for her and the three Sovereigns of the city to lead them all into battle. She opened her wings wide and shrieked ancient words of draconic that rang out all over the mighty city. The words were a challenge to all who opposed her. A warning that dared them to oppose her.

In times of peace she was a merciful and tolerant. In times of war, she was ruthless and driven.

She would challenge the pitiful forces that were raiding across her lands, killing her broodmates and those under her guardianship.

The fury of the Dromoka would be a cry that shook the Wastes themselves.

(to be continued….)

dromokatheeternalArt

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Posted on December 8, 2015, in Gaming, Magic Fan-Fic, Magic the Gathering and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. You’re still a great writer Ab! Come over to the dark side fully!

    Like

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